What Can I Do with a Major in Management & Leadership?

The Management and Leadership Major at KU:

One of the most important skills any professional could possess is the ability effectively manage and lead others. A professional manager is an expert, trained by education and experience to lead any type of organization. What makes the life of a manager so interesting is that it requires you to address such a wide variety of problems - financial, material, human, legal, political, and environmental - almost every day. No other career can provide you with such a rich mixture of challenges.

The Management and Leadership major is designed for people wanting to gain a mix of theoretical and practical management knowledge and skills that will enable them to work as professional managers and leaders of the organization of the future. 

The focus is on learning the interpersonal, systems, and strategic skills necessary to build and manage an effective business team.  Course work in organizational behavior, human resource management, administrative theory, and international management emphasizes the processes of planning, organizing, leading and controlling organizations.  The program is intended to help you develop the perspective, skills, and knowledge that you will need to manage and lead the modern organization more effectively.

Primary Areas of Employment for Management and Leadership Majors:

  • Sales
  • Human Resources
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Retail
  • General Management
  • Management and Leadership Rotational Career Programs

View employers by state.


Sales has more job opportunities than in any other area, especially entry-level positions in personal selling.  Personal selling is generally one of the highest paying careers right from the beginning. Sales people could choose to make sales a career and become a specialist in dealing with jobbers, chains, or vendors, selling a particular type of product, or in selling to specialized target groups such as independent grocers and hospitals.  A second path is to become sales manager of a region or district, supervising sales representatives and managers under you. This could ultimately lead to becoming national sales manager, vice president of sales, or perhaps even president.

Human Resources

Human resources managers oversee the recruitment, training, and compensation of a company's employees. A business is only as good as the people it employs, so human resources managers strive to ensure a high-quality workforce.  This profession attracts people who enjoy the interpersonal aspects of business. Not surprisingly, many human resources professionals have a background or strong interest in psychology, sociology, counseling, or organizational behavior.


Entrepreneurs -- people who start new businesses, or take over existing ones and run them in better ways.  They have a strong desire to create and own something lasting and to have decision-making authority over whatever they create.  They're willing to face a greater degree of uncertainty and risk in exchange for autonomy and self-direction.  Entrepreneurs work hard. In the beginning stages of creating a company, they may not have staff to help them get things done.  These individuals have immense focus, stamina, persistence, and courage. The creation of a new business can be all consuming, leaving little time for other activities.  The entrepreneurial path appeals strongly to "big-picture," creative thinkers with a penchant for market strategy and a strong need for autonomy and control. At the same time, one of the most important ingredients for entrepreneurial success is managerial experience. Brilliant analysis or a great product idea is one thing; knowing how to motivate and challenge a group of employees during tough times and business uncertainty is another.


Retailing offers a variety of positions, including sales, buying, distribution, and staff functions such as advertising and marketing research. Entry-level jobs may involve some sales work, moving up to assistant buyer and then buyer, with control over types of merchandise displayed, nature of promotions, and even price levels.

General Management

General management is arguably the ultimate realization of a career in business. It entails complete responsibility, including profit and loss accountability, for the performance of an entire business or a business unit. A general manager can be the key leader of a company, or the head of a division or department within a larger business.  General managers typically have cross-functional responsibility; that is, they make decisions that involve the coordination and integration of functional areas such as sales, marketing, human resources, finance, and production. Thus they oversee the individuals in charge of these various areas and coordinate their activities for the good of the larger company.  A general manager's job is complex and requires flexibility and quick decision making.  Ultimately, accountability for the success (or failure) of the business rests entirely with the general manager -- which is what many people find so challenging and attractive about the role. 

Management or Leadership Rotational Programs

Rotational programs provide individuals with an opportunity to rotate among different functional areas of an organization while gaining direct exposure to key leaders.  Rotational opportunities are typically offered to high potential individuals and may offer a “fast track” route to promotions and other leadership opportunities. 

View 2016-2017 salary data for KU graduates in Business Administration/Management & Leadership 

Typical Positions in Management & Leadership: The Management and Leadership Major prepares students for entry-level positions at the supervisory level of large organizations, as small business owners/managers, or as team leaders for innovative organizations. The following list is a representative sample of job titles of graduates with a Management and Leadership or Business Administration degree:
  • Administrative Services Managers
  • Benefits Administrator
  • Branch Manager
  • Budget Analyst
  • Contract Administrator
  • Credit Manager/Loan Officer
  • Customer Service Manager
  • Distribution Manager
  • Facilities Planner
  • Financial Analyst
  • Food/Beverage Manager
  • Fundraiser/Development Officer
  • Hotel/Motel Manager
  • Human Resource Administrator
  • Industrial Production Managers
  • Industry Relations Specialist
  • Insurance Agent/Broker
  • Inventory Control Specialist
  • Job Analyst
  • Management Analyst
  • Meeting and Convention Planner
  • Medical and Health Services Manager
  • Merchandise Manager
  • Public Administrator
  • Property, Real Estate Manager
  • Purchasing Manager, Buyer, and Agent
  • Small Business Owner/Manager
  • Training Specialist
  • Operations Manager
  • Personnel Manager
  • Personnel Recruiter
  • Public Utilities Manager
  • Quality Control Auditor
  • Reports Analyst
  • Retail Sales/Store Manager
  • Budget Officer
  • Compensation Manager

Typical Industries for Management & Leadership Majors:

  • Banking
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Transportation
  • Finance
  • Government
  • Education
  • Utilities
  • Health care
  • Wholesale and retail trade
  • Hotels & restaurants
  • Service industries
  • Entertainment
  • Owner/managers of small and medium sized enterprises

General tips for students considering a major or career in Management and Leadership:

  • Get experience through an internship or other relevant part-time or summer work.
  • Conduct informational discussions with individuals from industry. The Alumni Directories in the BCS provide a great place to start.
  • Participate in a job shadowing experience through Jayhawks on the Job or a company visit through a Friday Field Trip. Both are programs coordinated through the BCS.
  • Attend the Business Career Fair each September to talk with hiring organizations and industry representatives.
  • Join a relevant student organization that will facilitate career exploration.
  • A willingness to start in sales is helpful, as many entry-level positions are in the sales areas.
  • Seek leadership opportunities on campus.
  • Engage in personal networking to enhance employment prospects.
  • Apply to participate in Leadership Challenge, an event co-sponsored by the Schools of Business and Engineering.
  • Explore KU’s LeaderShape program offered through the Student Involvement and Leadership Center.
  • Be prepared to start in entry-level management training programs.
  • Key skills include ability to work in teams, interpersonal communication skills, public speaking skills, and problem-solving.
  • An MBA may be required to reach the highest levels of management. Most programs require relevant experience before entering the MBA Program.

Additional information on careers in management is available at Business Career Services in 1130 Capitol Federal Hall. For further information, students are encouraged to review the resources below:


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